TRA claims “negligence” in number portability

The regulator is auditing both operators to avoid mistakes in the applications
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The United Arab Emirates Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (UAE TRA) has blamed negligence when filling in mobile number portability applications, for the low completion rates for number transfers.Since the launch of MNP at end of 2013, 134,222 applications have been rejected out of 190,185 mobile number porting requests received, according to figures from the TRA published at the end of May.

“The system is working, but there is negligence when filling the applications,” said Majed Al Mesmar, acting director general of UAE TRA.

Al Mesmar said that errors had been detected in the forms being submitted for MNP requests. To request a transfer, customers need to visit the service centre of their current operator, where staff from the operator then fill in a form on behalf of the customer. Errors had occurred, Al Mesmar said, where customers submitted identity documents that did not match the details they gave to the operator staff, or where the staff had incorrectly completed the form. The TRA is urging customers to check their application forms when signing, and also noted that the regulator is also auditing operators to guarantee a fair process.

Al Mesmar told CommsMEA that the TRA is checking all the applications rejected by the operators. “If you find these mistakes in the applications, of course, you have to reject them,” he added.

“Most of the rejections are because of this reason,” reminded Al Mesmar. “There are silly mistakes, they have nothing to do with the system,” he said.

When asked about creating an independent office managed by the TRA, Al Mesmar said that the TRA is not planning to do so as the process is the responsibility of the operators. “We set the rules and we do audits and we check,” he said. 

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